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Anti-Alienism and the Primrose League: The Externalization of the Postwar Crisis in Great Britain 1918-32

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 June 2017

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Anti-alienism has frequently been the dark underside of organized patriotic movements in twentieth-century Britain. Love of nation has all too frequently been accompanied by an abstract fear of foreigners or a concrete dislike of alien immigrants residing in Britain. Numerous patriotic leagues have used xenophobia and the supposed threat posed by aliens to define themselves and their Conservative creed. Aliens symbolized “the other,” which held values antithetical to members of the patriotic leagues. These currents have usually become even more pronounced in times of tension and crisis. From the end of the First World War through the 1920s, Britain suffered an enormous economic, social, and political crisis. British unemployment never fell below one million as traditional industries such as coal, iron and steel, shipbuilding, and textiles declined. Electoral reform in 1918 and 1928 quadrupled the size of the electorate, and the British party system fractured with the Liberals divided and Labour becoming the alternative party of government. Industrial unrest was rampant, culminating in the General Strike of 1926. The example of the Russian Revolution inspired many on the Left and appalled their opponents on the Right, while many British Conservatives felt that fundamental aspects of the existing system of capitalism and parliamentary democracy were under challenge.

Research Article
Albion , Volume 33 , Issue 2 , Summer 2001 , pp. 243 - 269
Copyright © North American Conference on British Studies 2001

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The author wishes to thank Trevor Lloyd, Richard Rempel, Martin Francis, Stephen Heathorn, Joe Behar, and Julie Gottlieb and the anonymous readers of Albion for comments on this paper. He would also like to thank Professor Peter Weiler and the audiences at the NACBS annual meeting at Loyola University in 1996 and McMaster University’s Colloquium Series in 2000 for their comments. Financial assistance for the research on which the paper is based was provided by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Government of Ontario, and the Associates of the University of Toronto.


1 On the influence of the Russian Revolution on the left see: Northedge, F. S. and Wells, Audrey, Britain and Soviet Communism: The Impact of a Revolution (London and Basingstoke, 1982), pp. 181209Google Scholar. For the impact on the Labour Party after the formation of first Labour Government see: Williams, Andrew J., Labour and Russia: The Attitude of the Labour Party to the USSR, 1924-34 (Manchester, 1989)Google Scholar; Cowden, Morton H., Russian Bolshevism and British Labor (New York, 1984)Google Scholar; Kendall, Walter, The Revolutionary Movement in Britain 1900-1921: The Origins of British Communism (London, 1969)Google Scholar; Maclntyre, Stuart, A Proletarian Science: Marxism in Britain 1917-1933 (Cambridge, 1980)Google Scholar; idem, , Little Moscows: Communism and Working Class Militancy in Inter-War Britain (London, 1980)Google Scholar. For analyses of the Conservative Party’s interwar concerns see: McKib-bin, Ross, “Class and Conventional Wisdom: The Conservative Party and the ‘Public’ in Inter-war Britain,” in idem, The Ideologies of Class: Social Relations in Britain 1880-1950 (Oxford, 1994), pp. 259–93;Google Scholar Jarvis, David, “British Conservatism and Class Politics in the 1920s,” English Historical Review 111, 440 (February 1996): 5984Google Scholar.

2 Works accepting Britain’s general civility and tolerance towards newcomers and treating anti-alienism as an aberration include Walvin, James, Passage to Britain: Immigration in British History and Politics (Harmondsworth, 1984)Google Scholar and Rubinstein, William D. A History of the Jews in the English-Speaking World: Great Britain (Basingstoke and London, 1996)CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

3 Alderman, Geoffrey, Modern British Jewry, (2nd. ed.: Oxford, 1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

4 Panayi, Panikos, Immigration, Ethnicity and Racism in Britain 1815-1945 (Manchester, 1994)Google Scholar; idem, , ed., Racial Violence in Britain 1840-1950 (Leicester and London, 1993)Google Scholar; Cesarani, David and Kushner, Tony, eds., The Internment of Aliens in Twentieth Century Britain (London, 1993)Google Scholar; Kushner, Tony and Lunn, Kenneth, eds., Traditions of Intolerance: Historical Perspectives on Fascism and Race Discourse in Britain (Manchester, 1989)Google Scholar. A work especially useful for the anti-alienism of the London County Council after 1918 is Alderman, Geoffrey, London Jewry and London Politics, 1889-1986 (London, 1989), ch. 3Google Scholar.

5 Cesarani, David, “An Alien Concept: The Continuity of Anti-Alienism in British Society Before 1940,” in The Internment of Aliens in Twentieth Century Britain, p. 26Google Scholar.

6 Kushner, Tony and Cesarani, David, “Alien Internment in Britain during the Twentieth Century: An Introduction,” in The Internment of Aliens in Twentieth Century Britain, p. 11Google Scholar. See also: Pick, Daniel, Faces of Degeneration. A European Disorder c. 1848-1918 (Cambridge, 1989)CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

7 Kadish, Sharman, Bolsheviks and British Jews: The Anglo-Jewish Community, Britain and the Russian Revolution (London, 1993), p. 1Google Scholar; Gainer, Bernard, The Alien Invasion: The Origins of the Alien Act of 1905 (London, 1972), pp. 115Google Scholar. See also, Garrard, John, The English and Immigration: A Comparative Study of the Jewish Influx 1880-1910 (London, 1971)Google Scholar.

8 Feldman, David, Englishmen and Jews: Social Relations and Political Culture, 1840-1914 (New Haven and London, 1994), pp. 270–75; 282–84; 288Google Scholar.

9 Juss, Satvinder S.. Immigration, Nationality and Citizenship (London, 1993), pp. 3235Google Scholar.

10 Ibid, p. 32.

11 Cesarani, “An Alien Concept,” p. 47. A thorough account of the strict anti-alien asylum policy adopted by British governments in the 1920s can be found in Kushner, Tony and Knox, Katharine, Refugees in an Age of Genocide: Global, National and Local Perspectives during the Twentieth Century (London, 1999).Google Scholar ch. 3.

12 Pugh, Martin, The Tories and the People (Oxford, 1985), pp. 1213Google Scholar.

13 There has been significant historical debate over the impact of this restricted franchise on support for the Conservative, Liberal and Labour parties. See: Matthew, R C. G., McKibbin, R. and Kay, J. A., “The Franchise Factor and the Rise of the Labour Party,” English Historical Review 91 (1976): 723–52Google Scholar, and Blewett, Neal, “The Franchise in the United Kingdom 1885-1918,” Past and Present 32 (1965): 2756Google Scholar.

14 Green, E. H. H., The Crisis of Conservatism: The Politics, Economics and Ideology of the British Conservative Party ¡880-1914 (London, 1995), p. 126Google Scholar.

15 Pugh, , The Tories and the People, pp. 2831Google Scholar.

16 Green, , Crisis of Conservatism, p. 107Google Scholar.

17 Davies, A.J., We, the Nation: The Conservative Party and the Pursuit of Power (London, 1995), p. 138Google Scholar; Coetzee, Frans, “Villa Toryism Reconsidered: Conservatism and Suburban Sensibilities in Late-Victorian Croydon,” Parliamentary History 16, 1 (1997): 44Google Scholar.

18 Shannon, Richard, The Age of Salisbury 1881-1902: Unionism and Empire (London, 1996), pp. 114–17Google Scholar; Pugh, , The Tories and the People, pp. 2124Google Scholar. The rage for medieval symbols in Victorian society has been aptly shown in Girouard’s, Mark The Return to Camelot: Chivalry and the English Gentleman (New Haven, 1981)Google Scholar.

19 Pugh, , The Tories and the People, p. 27Google Scholar.

20 The two major published monographs on the Primrose League appeared some fifty years apart: Robb, Janet, The Primrose League (New York, 1942)Google Scholar and Pugh, The Tories and the People. Another interesting study is Sheets, Diane, “British Conservatism and the Primrose League: The Changing Character of Popular Politics, 1883-1901” (Ph.D. dissertation, Columbia University, 1986)Google Scholar. There is some interesting material in Campbell, Beatrix, The Iron Ladies: Why do Women vote Tory? (London, 1987)Google Scholar chs.1-2. The first serious consideration of the League as an important political agent was by Ostrogorski, Moisei, Democracy and the Organisation of Political Parties, vol. 1 (London, 1902)Google Scholar.

21 For impact of Irish Home Rule on the Primrose League see: Pugh, , The Tories and the People, pp. 8990; Robb, , The Primrose League, pp.93, 115, 151, 200Google Scholar.

22 For the best account of the Conservative Party after 1918 see: McCrillis, Neal, The British Conservative Party in the Age of Universal Suffrage: Popular Conservatism, 1918-1929 (Columbus, Ohio, 1998)Google Scholar. Pugh covers the inter-war period in 15 pages out of 250. David Jarvis mentions in passing party activists’ concerns over the League and other traditional Conservative bodies (Jarvis. “British Conservatism and Class Politics,” p. 64). Ball, Stuart incorrectly maintains that after 1918 “the Primrose League rapidly faded away” (“Local Conservatism and Party Organization,” in Conservative Century: The Conservative Party since 1900, eds.Seldon, Anthony and Ball, Stuart (Oxford, 1994), p. 298Google Scholar

23 “Immigration v. Emigration,” Primrose League Gazette 9,10 (October 1902): 9 [hereafter cited as PLC].

24 Harris, Bernard, “Anti-Alienism, Health and Social Reform in Late Victorian and Edwardian Britain,” Patterns of Prejudice, 31, 4 (October 1997): 334Google Scholar.

25 “The Aliens Bill: A Story of Radical Obstruction,” PLG 11,9 (September 1904): 8.

26 Scholars differ on the impact of the Conservatives’ anti-alienism on the East End constituencies. David Cesarani sees anti-alienism as an electoral trump card played against the nation-wide movement to the Liberals (“An Alien Concept,” p. 30). William D. Rubinstein notes its localized and inconsistent nature and concludes that “the anti-alien cry appears to have had no real [electoral] impact [for the Conservatives] or a marginally negative one” (A History of the Jews, p. 159).

27 “Chinese ‘Slaves,’” PLG 11,9 (September 1904): 8; Lord Harris, “The Chinese Labour Question,” PLG 12, 4 (April 1905): 8; “The Treatment of the Chinese,” PLG 12, 5 (May 1905): 7; “Manchu and Muscovite,” PLG 11, 9 (September 1904): 6.

28 Graham Wallas makes note of the effectiveness (and irrationality) of the election call of Slavery, Chinese (Human Nature in Politics [London, 1908; 1962], pp. 126–28)Google Scholar. I would like to thank Trevor Lloyd for this reference.

29 Blackburn, Sheila C., ‘“No Necessary connection with homework’: gender and sweated labour, 1840-1909,” Social History 22, 3 (October 1997): 269, 272Google Scholar. Bythell, Duncan, The Sweated Trades: Outwork in Nineteenth Century Britain (London, 1978)Google Scholar.

30 Blackburn, , ‘“No Necessary connection with homework,’” p. 279Google Scholar; Morris, Jenny, Women Workers and the Sweated Trades: The Origins of Minimum Wage Legislation (Aldershot, 1986), p. 209Google Scholar.

31 “The Aliens Bill: A Story of Radical Obstruction,” PLG 11, 9, (September 1904): 8.

32 “Great National Scheme of ‘First-Aid’ for Sweated Women and Girl Workers,” PLG 22, 53 (February 1914): 3 [hereafter cited as “Sweated Women.”]

33 “Sweated Women,” p. 2.

34 Blackburn, ‘“No Necessary connection with homework,’” p. 280.

35 “The Vote: What I Want Before I Get It,” by Wide Awake, PLG 26, 106 (August 1918): 4.

36 For example, see: “The Regal Corset Parlor—The Mecca of Corset Fashions,” PLG 22, 57 (June 1914): 2; “Annual Summer Sale,” PLG 22, 57 (June 1914): 19.

37 Panayi, Panikos, “The British Empire Union in the First World War,” inKushner, Tony and Lunn, Kenneth, eds., The Politics of Marginality: Race, the Radical Right and Minorities in Twentieth Century Britain (London, 1990), pp. 113–30Google Scholar; For a flavor of the anti-alienism of the Anti-German Union see: “Denaturalisation of German ‘Britons’” (British Empire Union, 1916); “Outlaw the German Ghouls!” (British Empire Union, 1917); “Close the German Banks” (British Empire Union, 1917); B.E.U. No. 18, Series Ex. 1009; B.E.U. No 19, Series Ex. 1010; Series Ex. 1020, Imperial War Museum. Wellington (House) Ephemeral Collection, First World War Propaganda Pamphlets. The British Empire Union Monthly Record [hereafter cited as BEUMR] also made harsh anti-alien statements, see Stacpole, H. De Vere, “Prussian Expansionism and the Alien Penl,”BEUMR 2, 15 (February 1918): 27Google Scholar; “Intern Them All: Successful B.E.U. Demonstration in Hyde Park,” ibid., p.108.

38 Juss, , Immigration, Nationality and Citizenship, p. 37Google Scholar.

39 For example, the League noted that Colonel Alan Sykes, M.P., Vice Chairman of Grand Council and Conservative M.P. for Knutsford had been appointed as Commissioner “to review the permits granted to enemy aliens residing in prohibited areas” (“Aliens in Prohibited Areas,” PLG 24, 83 [September 1916]: 13).

40 The Dorking Habitation asked the Grand Council for permission to strike name of a naturalized foreigner off their register. In fact, the Council insisted that all cases had to be assessed individually and that the member in general should continue to belong to the League. Minutes of the Grand Council. 1st July 1915. MSS Primrose League 6/1. No. 16. 1914-32, Leaf 103. Primrose League Papers, Bodleian Library, Oxford.

41 Levy, Elkan D., “Antisemitism in England at War,” Patterns of Prejudice 4, 5 (1970): 2730Google Scholar.

42 Lord Haldane, a Liberal minister displaced by the 1915 coalition, was a special target for the Primrose League. In a “patriotic speech” to a Ladies Grand Council meeting, Arnold White noted that “it was a curious fact that for the first time a Cabinet Minister had received the Order of Merit and the ‘Order of the Boot’ on the same day” (“The Editor’s Letter,” PLG 23, 69 [July 1915]: 5); Pugh, The Tories and the People, p. 176.

43 “The Vote: What I want Before I Get It,” by Awake, Wide, PLG 26, 106 (August 1918): 4Google Scholar.

44 Juss, , Immigration, Nationality and Citizenship, p. 38Google Scholar.

45 On the British Empire Union see: Panayi, “The British Empire Union in the First World War,” in Kushner and Lunn, The Politics of Marginality, pp. 113-30. On the Britons, a group formed in 1919, see: Lebzelter, Gisela C., Political Anti-Semitism in England 1918-1939 (London and Basingstoke, 1978), pp. 4951CrossRefGoogle Scholar; idem, “Anti-Semitism—A Focal Point for the British Right,” in Nationalist and Racialist Movements in Britain and Germany before 1914, eds., Kennedy, Paul and Nicholls, Anthony (London, 1981), pp. 101–02Google Scholar. For the marginalization of “the Britons” and British fascist groups in the 1920s in comparison to the popular appeal of the Conservatives see: Baker, David, “The Extreme Right in the 1920s: Fascism in a Cold Climate or Conservatism with Knobs on?” in The Failure of British Fascism: The Far Right and the Fight for Political Recognition, ed.,Cronin, Mike (London and Basingstoke, 1996), pp. 1228CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

46 “Electors and the Huns,” PLG 27, 111 (January 1919): 2.

47 “After-Peace Perils,” PLG 27, 114 (April 1919): 3.

48 For a flavor of the postwar battles of the British Empire Union see: “Germany’s After War Campaign: A Great Commercial Opening,” BEUMR 3, 25 (December 1918): 4; “Our ‘British’ Aristocracy,” BEUMR 3, 31 (June 1919): 87; “Our ‘British’ Professors”, BEUMR 3, 33 (August 1919): 111;. “How the Hun is Helped: Employment for Germans: Our Men Turned Away,” BEUMR 3, 35 (October 1919): 136 “Secrets of the German Banks,” BEUMR 3, 29 (April 1919): 69.

49 Bird, J. C. notes that from the Armistice to mid-1919, some 21,904 enemy civilian internees (mostly Austrian and German) were repatriated from Britain (Control of Enemy Alien Civilians in Great Britain, 1914-1918 [New York and London, 1986], pp. 6, 9, 199)Google Scholar

50 Kadish, , Bolsheviks and British Jews, p. 11Google Scholar.

51 Wilson, Keith M., “The Protocols of Zion and the Morning Post, 1919-1920,” Patterns of Prejudice 19, 3 (My 1985): 514Google Scholar.

52 Almog, Shmuel, “Antisemitism as a Dynamic Phenomenon: The ‘Jewish Question’ in England at the End of the First World War,” Patterns of Prejudice 21, 4 (Winter 1987): 318Google Scholar; Cesarani, David, “Anti-Zionist Politics and Political Anti-Semitism in Britain, 1920-24,” Patterns of Prejudice 23, 1 (Spring 1989): 2845Google Scholar.

53 Kadish, , Bolsheviks and British Jews, pp. 3839Google Scholar. Webster, Mrs. Nesta wrote a series of books linking revolutionary activity to an international conspiracy including World Revolution: The Plot Against Civilization (London, 1921), and The Socialist Network (London, 1926)Google Scholar.

54 “Social Unrest,” PLG 27, 113 (March 1919): 1.

55 Rubinstein, Alvin, Soviet Foreign Policy Since World War II: Imperial and Global (2nd ed.: Boston and Toronto, 1985), pp. 79Google Scholar.

56 P., W. and Coates, Zelda K., A History of Anglo-Soviet Relations (London, 1944), p. 350.Google Scholar

57 Faulkner, W., “Bolshevist Meetings: What the Primrose League Can Do,” PLG 27, 10 (October 1920): 4Google Scholar.

58 “Notes for Speakers: Alien agitators in Great Britain,” PLG 29, 1 (January 1921): 5.

59 “Notes for Speakers: The Trade Union Congress,” PLG 33, 10 (October 1925): 5.

60 “To Avert a General Strike,” PLG 33, 2 (February 1926): 6.

61 There is little evidence that the League tried to avert the strike or worked with groups on the Far Right. Barbara Storm Farr has referred to a meeting held in March 1926 chaired by Sydenham, Lady of the British Fascisti and attended by representatives of eleven patriotic and imperialist organisations including the Primrose League. Farr argued they passed a joint resolution urging the Prime Minister to take measures to avert a strike but were unable to carry out any further unified action (The Development and Impact of Right-Wing Politics in Britain, 1903-1932 [New York, 1987], p. 59)Google Scholar.

62 “Our Letter Box: Work during the Strike,” PLG 33, 7 (July 1926): 10 [Letter from I. M Megarry, of Grantham (Croydon) Habitation]; “General Purposes Committee Report to Grand Council” June 3, 1926. MSS Primrose League 6/1. No. 16. 1914-32, Leafs 851-52. Primrose League Papers. Bodleian Library, Oxford.

63 Oliver Winton Stebbings, “Patriotism: Public Opinion. The Lesson of 1926,” PLG 34, 2 (February 1927): 10.

64 Lane was also a member of the Britons and founded in 1930 the fascist fringe group the Militant Christian Patriots ( Douglas, R. M., “The Swastika and the Shamrock: British Fascism and the Irish Question, 1918-1940,” Albion 29, 1 [Spring 1997]: 64)Google Scholar.

65 “The Alien Menace,” PLC 35, 7 (July 1928): 14.; Lane, Lieut.-Colonel, The Alien Menace: A Statement of the Case (2nd ed.: London, 1928)Google Scholar. The two anti-Bolshevik chapters are entitled “The Hidden Hand” and “A Herculean Task?.” Despite Colonel Lane’s general definition of an alien as “one who is not British-born and did not serve the British Empire or its Allies in the Great War,” Russians and Jews are singled out for particular attention along with Germans.

66 On the evolving views of Conservatives on Home Rule during the war see: Stubbs, John, “The Unionists and Ireland 1914-1918,” Historical Journal 33, 4 (1990): 867–93Google Scholar, and Boyce, George, “British Conservative Opinion, the Ulster Question and the Partition of Ireland, 1912-21,” Irish Historical Studies (March 1970): 89112Google Scholar. On the British general public’s changing attitudes on Home Rule see: Boyce, David, “British Opinion, Ireland and the War, 1916-1918,” Historical Journal 17, 3 (1974): 575–93Google Scholar.

67 “The Chancellor’s New Year’s Letter: Outlook for the Primrose League. Irish Settlement and Bolshevism,” PLG 39, 1 (January 1922): 7.

68 The Duke of Northumberland, “The Truth about Ireland,” PLG 30, 6. (April 1923): 7.

69 “Minutes of Grand Council.” October 13, 1927. MSS Primrose League 6/1. No. 16. 1914-32 Leaf 942. Primrose League Papers. Bodleian Library, Oxford.

70 “The Socialist Menace to Children,” PLG 29, 1 (January 1921): 6.

71 “Christianity or Bolshevism,” PLG 38, 1 (January 1920): 5.

72 “Annual Report of Grand Council to Grand Habitation 1929-30.” MSS Primrose League 6/1. No. 16. 1914-32. Leaf 1128. Primrose League Papers. Bodleian Library, Oxford.

73 “The Soviet War on Religion,” PLG 36, 1 (January 1930): 12.

74 Coates, , A History of Anglo-Soviet Relations, pp. 333–37Google Scholar.

75 “The Soviet War on Religion,” PLG 36, 1 (January 1930): 12.

76 “Russia’s Campaign Against Religion: Protest Demonstration—’World Crusade’ Started,” Manchester Guardian, December 20, 1929, p. 15; “Letters to the Editor: Soviet Persecution of Religion—British Protest Movement,” Manchester Guardian, February 8, 1930, p. 9; “The Russian Martyrs?: Englishmen ‘Holding a Candle to the Devil,’” Manchester Guardian, February 12, 1930, p. 12.

77 “Soviet War on Religion: Primrose League Protest Meeting on Tower Hill,” PLG 36, 3 (March 1930): 7.

78 For doubts over the veracity of stories used by the Christian Protest Movement and the political motivations of its supporters see: “War on Religion,” Manchester Guardian, December 31, 1929, p. 10; “Persecution and Propaganda,” Manchester Guardian, February 14, 1930, p. 10. On the Archbishop of Canterbury see: “Persecution of Religion: Why Primate Cannot Join Protest movement,” Manchester Guardian, December 14, 1929, p. 19.

79 “Mr. Baldwin’s Tariff Policy,” Manchester Guardian, February 6, 1930, p. 6. Baldwin made comments to the Ulster Unionist Council in Belfast on February 14, 1930 linking concerns over religious persecution in Russia to re-establishing diplomatic relations ( Coates, , A History of Anglo-Soviet Relations, p. 338)Google Scholar.

80 The First World War certainly did not arrest the pre-war decrease in church membership and attendance. See, Machin, G. I. T., Politics and the Churches in Great Britain, 1869-1921 (Oxford, 1987), pp. 310–11Google Scholar; Hastings, Adrian, A History of English Christianity 1920-1985 (London, 1987), pp. 4718Google Scholar. Winter, Jay has shown that the war did not overturn British religious beliefs and also led to the growth of unorthodox religious variants such as spiritualism (Sites of Memory, Sites of Mourning: The Great War in European Cultural History [Cambridge, 1995]Google Scholar, chs. 2-3).

81 For an example of Joynson-Hicks’s involvement see: “Religious Persecution in Russia: Viscount Brentford to Move Protest Resolution,” Manchester Guardian, December 19, 1929, p. 14.

82 “Organization and Propaganda,” PLG 30, 3. (June 1922): 7. Nesta Webster had been deeply changed by the First World War and saw all postwar unrest as the result of a number of involved conspiracies, usually led by “illuminized Freemasonry,” which was bent on world revolution and the destruction of Christianity (Spacious Days: An Autobiography [London, n.d.]), pp. 185-87). She was not a prominent member of the Primrose League.

83 “Our Letter Box—Bolshevist Laws and Socialist Doctrines,” PLG 27, 121 (November 1919): 4.

84 “The Urgent Issues of the Hour—Notes for Speakers: Conditions in Soviet Russia,” PLC 38, 9 (September 1931): 4.

85 “Notes for Speakers and Workers: A Book to Read,” PLG 39, 2 (February 1932); The Duchess of Atholl, M.P., The Conscription of a People (London, 1931)Google Scholar.

86 ”A Page for Speakers and Workers: Questions for Socialists,” PLG 39, 9 (September 1932): 5.

87 The sufferings of workers in Soviet timber camps were highlighted in books such as Out of the Deep: Letters from Soviet Timber Camps (London, 1933). Reports of harsh treatment, low wages and poor living conditions were strenuously denied by pro-Soviet commentators. See: Gazette, British Russian and Outlook, Trade, Forced Labour in Russia?: Facts and Documents (London, 1931)Google Scholar and Coates, W. P., Is Soviet Trade a Menace? (London, 1931)Google Scholar.

88 According to Lady Jersey, a prominent member of the Ladies Grand Council, Communism meant “houses broken up and destroyed, starving thousands, children perishing with disease, forced labour for all at such work as the Soviets choose to allot, and children taught the doctrines of hate and forbidden to learn the fear of God”(Dowager Countess of Jersey, “A Call to Women,” PLC 31, 11 [November 1924]: 8).

89 Sir Home, Robert M.P., “Grand Habitation: The Albert Demonstration,” PLG 38, 5 (May 1931): 13Google Scholar. The Duchess of Atholl echoes many of these arguments in her book’s chapter 18.

90 Williamson, Philip, Stanley Baldwin: Conservative Leadership and National Values (Cambridge, 1999), pp. 132–33; 152Google Scholar.

91 Other interwar Chancellors were distinguished but less politically important aristocrats such as the 6th Earl of Clarendon, the 5th Duke of Sutherland, the 3rd Lord Strathcona and Mount Royal, and the 15th Earl of Pembroke and 12th Earl of Montgomery. The list is rounded off with Sir Walter Greaves-Lord, M.P.

92 Cesarani, David, “The Anti-Jewish Career of Sir William Joynson-Hicks, Cabinet Minister,” Journal of Contemporary History 24 (1989): 461–82Google Scholar; idem, “Joynson-Hicks and the radical right in England after the First World War,” in Traditions of Intolerance, pp. 118-39; For positive Primrose League commentary on Joynson-Hicks as League Chancellor and Home Secretary, see Hurd, Percy, “Our New Chancellor: The Rt. Hon. Sir William Joynson-Hicks, Bart., M.P.,” PLG 31, 6 (June 1924): 34Google Scholar; “Notes for Speakers: The Home Secretary and Aliens,” PLG 32, 1 (January 1925): 10; “The Late Lord Brentford,” PLG 39, 7 (July 1932): 7.

93 Sir Keeble, Curtis, Britain and the Soviet Union 1917-89 (London and Basingstoke, 1990), pp. 103–06Google Scholar; Schinness, Roger, “The Conservative Party and Anglo-Soviet Relations, 1925-7,” European Studies Review 7 (1977): 393107Google Scholar.

94 Rubinstein, , A History of the Jews, p. 271Google Scholar.

95 Cesarani, “Joynson-Hicks and the radical right,” pp. 132-33; Cowling, Maurice looks at “Jix” as both a Die Hard and Cabinet Minister (the Impact of Labour 1920-24 [London, 1971], As Die Hard on pp. 184–85; 196; 413–14Google Scholar, as Cabinet Minister on pp. 278; 294; 311-12. Middlemas, Keith andBarnes, John argue that Jix’s appointment was to placate the Die Hards and that he was immoderate only in his anti-Bolshevism. They suggest he was “actually progressive” in the field of criminal justice (Baldwin: A Biography [London, 1969], p. 283)Google Scholar. The only biography of Joynson-Hicks is dated, Taylor, H. A., Jix: The Life of Lord Brentford (London, 1933)Google Scholar.

96 Pugh, , The Tories and the People, p. 179Google Scholar.

97 In the 1920s, the British Fascists numbered only a few hundred and the Imperial Fascist League never numbered more than a thousand members ( Stevenson, John, “Conservatism and the failure of fascism in interwar Britain,” in Fascists and Conservatives, ed.Blinkhorn, M. [London, 1990], p. 269)Google Scholar. On the Women’s Unionist Organization see McCrillis, The British Conservative Party in the Age of Universal Suffrage, ch. 2. On the postwar Conservative effort to organize women see; Maguire, G. E., Conservative Women: A History of Women and the Conservative Party, 1874-1997 (Basingstoke, 1998), pp. 7395CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

98 Pugh, , The Tories and the People, p. 168Google Scholar.

99 General Purposes Committee, “Reports to the Grand Council,” MSS Primrose League 6/1. No. 16. 1914-32. February 6, 1919; March 6, 1919. April 3, 1919; June 5, 1919; December 4, 1919. Leafs 311-313; 319; 331-32; 344-455; 390; Total new enrollment for 1921 was 32, 121. General Purposes Committee, “Reports to the Grand Council,” January 13, 1921; November 3, 1921; December 1, 1921. Leafs 465; 521-22; 529-30; Total new enrollment for 1922 was 18, 302. General Purposes Committee, “Reports to Grand Council,” January 12, 1922. March 2, 1922; April 6, 1922. June 1, 1922; July 6, 1922; October 5, 1922; December 7, 1922. Leafs 550-51; 537-38; 544-45; 565-66; 570-71; 582-83; 590-91. General Purposes Committee, “Reports to the Grand Council,” February 1, 1923; March 1, 1923; April 12, 1923; June 7, 1923; July 26, 1923; October 4, 1923; November 1, 1923. December 13, 1923. Leafs 597-98; 604-06; 612-13; 620-22; 636-37; 645-46;650-51; 664-665. General Purposes Committee, “Reports to the Grand Council,” January 17, 1924; March 6, 1924; October 9, 1924; November 6, 1924. December 4, 1924. Leafs 673-674; 687-88; 719-20; 726; 738-740. Primrose League Papers. Bodleian Library, Oxford.

100 General Purposes Committee, “Reports to the Grand Council,” February 4, 1926; February 3, 1927. MSS Primrose League 6/1. No. 16. 1914-32, Leafs 818-19; 891. Primrose League Papers. Bodleian Library, Oxford

101 General Purposes Committee, “Report to the Grand Council,” February 4, 1926. MSS Primrose League 6/1. No. 16. 1914-32, Leaf 818. Primrose League Papers. Bodleian Library, Oxford.

102 “General Purposes Committee Report to Grand Council,” October 2, 1930. MSS Primrose League 6/1. No. 16. 1914-32, Leaf 1165-66. Primrose League Papers. Bodleian Library, Oxford.

103 “Annual Report of Grand Council to Grand Habitation 1929-3,” MSS Primrose League 6/1. No. 16. 1914-32, Leafs 1128-1129. Primrose League Papers. Bodleian Library, Oxford.

104 Pugh, , The Tories and the People, pp. 2842; Green, , Crisis of Conservatism, p. 107;Robb, , The Primrose League, pp. 87105Google Scholar.

105 “The Primrose League Sports Festival to be held at the Crystal Palace on Saturday, July 21st, 1923,” PLG 30, 7 (July 1923): 4.

106 “A Mixed Bag: Buds Cheer—Monster Sports Rally at the Crystal Palace,” PLG 33, 7 (July 1926): 13; “Sports Committee Report to Grand Council,” July 3, 1930. MSS Primrose League 6/1. No. 16. 1914-32, Leaf 1164. Primrose League Papers. Bodleian Library, Oxford.

107 “The Primrose League: Annual Report of Grand Council to Grand Habitation 1927-28,” MSS Primrose League 6/1. No. 16. 1914-32, Leafs 1003-1005. Primrose League Papers. Bodleian Library, Oxford.

108 lord Harris, “Sport,” PLG 21, 9 (September 1924): 7.

109 Wohl, Anthony S., “‘Dizzy-Ben-Dizzi’: Disraeli as Alien,” Journal of British Studies 34 (July 1995): 375411Google Scholar.

110 For an account of the 1931 pilgrimage see: “A Message from the Grand Master,” PLG 38, 4 (April 1931): 5.

111 “Disraeli of England (A Play),” PLG 39, 4 (April 1932): 11.

112 “The Albert Hall Demonstration,” PLG 38, 5 (May 1931): 11-12.

113 “Primrose Day,” PLC 36, 4 (April 1930): 6.

114 Sir Lord, Walter Greaves, “The Policy of Disraeli: The Foundation of Social Reform,” PLG 35, 5 (May 1929): 5Google Scholar.

115 “The Albert Hall Demonstration,” PLG 38, 5 (May 1931): 11-12.

116 “The Pilgrimage to Hughenden,” PLG 38, 5 (May 1931): 15.

117 Rubinstein, , A History of the Jews, p.277Google Scholar.

118 For the harsh criticisms endured by Baldwin between 1929-31, see Ball, Stuart, Baldwin and the Conservative Party: The Crisis of 1929-31 (New Haven, 1988)CrossRefGoogle Scholar. On Baldwin’s references to Disraeli’s legacy as Conservative Party leader, see Williamson, , Stanley Baldwin, p. 179Google Scholar.